SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - After a soft rain in the early morning hours, the first significant weather system in months is bearing down on the Central Coast for about 48 hours.
Early Monday morning multiple vehicles crashed in the Southbound lanes of Highway 101 at the Gaviota Tunnel. Roads were blocked and a Sigalert was called for about two hours.
Traffic was rerouted to Highway 246 through the Santa Ynez Valley and Highway 154 over San Marcos Pass.
The off-and-on rain will be a surprise to some drivers who have not seen real "measurable" rain for months during the prolonged drought. Last week's rain was below 0.1 of an inch.
This storm is expected to drop 1.5 to 2 inches of rain over a period of 36 to 48 hours.
It will not have a major improvement on water supplies, which takes place after several repeat storms, hillside saturation, and a solid, recordable runoff.
Cachuma Lake is about 60 feet below the spill level of Bradbury Dam and is at 32 percent of its capacity.
It will test the parklets in downtown Santa Barbara where storm water runoff has been a concern.
Some businesses have already made sure their gutter openings are clear of debris.
Solid rain is in the forecast for Tuesday with instability as the system moves through.
Some regions with recent fires are a concern including lower San Marcos Pass, Refugio and TV hill where Loma Alta is closed off to traffic below the burn area.